Councillor Andrew Baggott, Leader of Basildon Council, hosted a live Q&A event at the George Hurd Centre, in Audley Way.
Meet the Leader gives residents the chance to ask questions about how their money is being spent and what is being done to improve their area.
A summary of matters discussed during the meeting on Thursday 22 November is available below:
Response: I'm a fan of the broken window theory - we have to show no tolerance for this behaviour at any level. Allowing this behaviour to go unchallenged creates an environment that breeds further crime and disorder, including more serious crimes. We need highly visible policing that tackles this behaviour and sets examples. The council is seeking to influence the police and the owners of the town centre and the shopping centre management. I have met with Roger Hirst, the Police and Crime Commissioner and pressed the case for more policing resources for Basildon and I will continue to do that.
Response: M&S don't own the building, but they are still paying rent to the owners. Currently it is cheaper for them to keep it empty. We have ideas for use of the building if it is not to be commercially rented any time soon. For example, I think it would make a great new business incubation centre.
Response: We will use our influence and take up specific problems on your behalf. You can also make representations through the formal consultation we are conducting on the Local Plan.
Response: These were funded by contributions from tenants. As resources became stretched, funding was withdrawn.
Response: There should always be consultation through ward councillors and with local communities before decisions are made about siting play areas and other community facilities.